Sunday, April 11, 2010

Halladay Goes Nine Innings in Pitcher's Duel

Roy Halladay once again dominated the opposition, throwing a complete game as the Phillies downed the Astros 2-1. For the first time this season, the Phillies offense stalled. Not surprising, as they were facing Astros ace Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt pitched a good game, allowing just two runs in six innings, which is no mean feat considering how the Phillies have been hitting. Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a home run, as he continued his strong start. Then, in the second inning, Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI ground-out to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. That would be all the offense the Phillies would muster, but it was enough.

Halladay blew through the Houston lineup, allowing a stray single here and there, but nothing of consequence until the sixth inning. There he got into a bit of trouble as Chris Johnson singled to left, Michael Bourn reached on a bunt single, and Halladay and Placido Polanco couldn't execute a force out at third off a Jeff Keppinger bunt. That left the bases loaded with no outs. But Halladay worked out of the jam. Corey Sullivan grounded into a 6-3 double play, which plated a run, and Carlos Lee popped out to end the inning, with the Phillies still holding a 2-1 lead.

In the seventh, Halladay got into more trouble, allowing consecutive singles to Geoff Blum and Pedro Feliz, then watched both runners advance on a Kaz Matsui sacrifice bunt. But he escaped with relative ease. J.R. Towles grounded to Halladay who checked the runner and threw Towles out at first, then Jason Michaels went down swinging to end the threat.

The rest was easy for Halladay, as he pitched perfect eighth and ninth innings, securing his second win of the season in as many starts. He also recorded a few milestones, notching his 150th career win and pitching his 50th career complete game. In doing so, the Phillies swept the Astros and improved their record to 5-1. They'll head home to take on the Nationals next, as Cole Hamels takes on Jason Marquis Monday afternoon.

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